This coming holiday season, the state of Florida has a gift planned for workers.
Effective Jan. 1, 2007, the Florida minimum wage is set to increase in accordance with the state constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2004. That means employers will have to pay at least $6.67 per hour, a 27-cent increase over the 2006 rate.
The rate is set annually by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, based on changes to the federal consumer price index. The new rate must be paid to all employees covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ().
For tipped employees, you can count tips received as "wages" under the FLSA. But you must pay tipped workers a direct wage of at least $3.65 an hour as of Jan. 1, as long as their tips push their wages above the state minimum.
Here are some suggestions for an easy transition to the new law:
Post a notice about Florida's minimum wage in a conspicuous and accessible place. You can download a copy of the required poster in both English and Spanish from the Agency for Workforce Innovation's Web page at www.floridajobs.org/resources/fl_min_wage.html.
Review your labor budget to make sure the increase has been taken into account.
Review payroll and accounting software to make sure the required increase is automatically provided in pay periods that include Jan. 1, 2007.Let employees know that the increase is coming through your in-house newsletter, intranet or pay-envelope insert.